Texas (50-66) at Toronto (58-58)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON, CA
Temp: 79° F
  • Game info: 1:05 pm EDT Sun Aug 10, 2003
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Josh Towers has waited nearly a year and a half for another chance to prove he can be a successful starter in the big leagues.

He’ll get that opportunity when the Toronto Blue Jays close out a three-game series with the Texas Rangers at SkyDome.

Towers had his contract purchased from Triple-A Syracuse on Friday after the Blue Jays placed right-hander Cory Lidle on the 15-day disabled list with a nagging groin injury.

Towers, once a budding right-hander for Baltimore, has not started in the majors since April 17, 2002, when he was still with the Orioles.

Towers burst on the scene by winning six of his first seven decisions for Baltimore in 2001, earning AL rookie of the month in June of that year. However, his rookie campaign ended with a broken right finger, and Towers was unable to regain his form last year, going 0-3 with a 5.59 ERA in three starts.

On May 1, 2002, Towers was pounded for 10 earned runs by Boston in a five-inning relief stint, becoming one of just seven Baltimore pitchers to surrender that many runs in a relief outing. He was sent down to the minors afterward and did not return.

On Nov. 8, 2002, he was signed by Toronto and spent most of this season at Syracuse.

Towers’ last win as a starter came on Aug. 17, 2001.

The Blue Jays beat the Rangers 5-3 on Saturday. Eric Hinske went 2-for-4 with a double and a sacrifice fly, and Toronto starter Kelvim Escobar pitched eight strong innings.

Ramon Nivar went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI for Texas, which has lost three of five since winning five in a row.

STANDINGS: Rangers - 4th place, 20 GB, AL West. Blue Jays - 3rd place, 13 GB, AL East.

RANGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Colby Lewis (4-7, 8.11 ERA). Lewis gave up six earned runs and seven hits over 4 2-3 innings in Tuesday’s 6-2 loss to the New York Yankees—his fourth straight setback. The right-hander has struggled in two starts against the Blue Jays this season. On May 1 against Toronto, he gave up seven earned runs and seven hits in just two innings of a 7-6 loss. Five days later, he surrendered six earned runs and five hits in two innings of a 15-5 setback to the Blue Jays.

BLUE JAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Towers (1-0, 8.31 ERA). In two career starts against the Rangers, Towers is 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Rangers - Hank Blalock, .320 avg.; Alex Rodriguez, 30 HRs, 85 runs and 13 SBs; Rafael Palmeiro, 79 RBIs. Blue Jays - Vernon Wells, .305 avg.; Carlos Delgado, 32 HRs, 110 RBIs and 91 runs; Bobby Kielty, 6 SBs.


STREAKS AND NOTES: Rangers - The Rangers had homered in 12 straight games before failing to do so Saturday. … On Friday, RHP Ismael Valdes, on the 15-day disabled list with patella tendinitis in his right knee, allowed three runs and nine hits over 3 1-3 innings during a rehab start for Double-A Frisco. Though he would be eligible to pitch on Aug. 13, the Rangers may give him another rehab start before activating him. … RHP Lewis is 2-4 with a 7.47 ERA in eight road starts this season. Blue Jays - SS Mike Bordick is riding a career-high 17-game hitting streak. … RHP Pete Walker, on the 15-day DL with a left knee strain, pitched three innings for Syracuse on Friday, allowing one run. Toronto wants Walker to approach 75 pitches before bringing him back to the big leagues, but that could change if the Blue Jays decide they need help in the bullpen. … RHP Bob File, on the 60-day DL recovering from right shoulder surgery, has a 2.25 ERA in four one-inning outings for Syracuse. File’s last two seasons have been hampered by injury, so the Blue Jays want him to take his time.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rangers - 21-37 on the road; Blue Jays - 26-31 at home.

INJURIES: Rangers - OF Juan Gonzalez (calf), 15-day DL; OF Kevin Mench (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Chan Ho Park (rib), 15-day DL; RHP Ricardo Rodriguez (hip), 15-day DL; RHP Valdes (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Jeff Zimmerman (elbow), 60-day DL; INF Herbert Perry (shoulder), 60-day DL; OF Rusty Greer (neck), 60-day DL. Blue Jays - RHP Lidle (groin), 15-day DL; RHP Walker (knee), 15-day DL; LHP Doug Creek (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP File (shoulder), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Lewis TEX vs. J. Towers LAD
10-9 Record 8-1
7.30 ERA 4.48
88 K 42
70 BB 7
1.83 WHIP 1.15